Category Archives: Alternative Investments

Could an Alternative Investment Strategy Work for You?

You may have heard of alternative investments without knowing exactly what they are. Are they different types of common investment products, like stocks or bonds? And what are they an alternative to? Read on to find out.

The term “alternative investment” doesn’t refer to any asset that’s part of the more typical categories, like stocks, bonds, cash, etc. Alternative investments typically include things like private equity, hedge funds, real estate and other tangible assets. Since they’re outside of the “norm,” they can have a different set of rules.

For one, they normally aren’t regulated by the SEC. They can be examined by the SEC, but they don’t have to be registered and aren’t overseen or heavily regulated the way the stocks, mutual funds or ETFs may be.

Alternative investments can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and hedge against inflation while offering potential for high rewards—these can come at a price, though. Alternative investments typically have a high barrier to entry and often require a much more substantial investment, both in time and money, than conventional investments.

If you’re considering alternative investments, it would be a good idea to talk to your financial advisor or similar professional. They can help you manage the risks and prepare you for diving into the world of alternative investments. If done right, they can be the perfect supplement to your portfolio.

Are alternative investments the right choice for your portfolio? We can help you decide.

Advisory services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.
Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide legal or tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your legal or tax planning needs.

The Happiness Equation

Brad Steiman, Director, Head of Canadian Financial Advisor Services, Vice President

To say that “money isn’t everything” is more than a cliché. Studies in the early 1970s demonstrated that a sense of well-being, or happiness, had not increased commensurately with income over the previous half century.

That trend continues as the modern world has arguably made well being more elusive than ever. Fortunately, positive psychology arose in the 1990s, attempting to find the key to understanding what makes people flourish. It has spawned the so-called happiness literature that seeks modern truth by weaving together science and ancient wisdom. How to be happier is now the most popular course at Harvard and Yale.

Business people and entrepreneurs are also contemplating some of these age-old questions. Mo Gawdat, a serial entrepreneur and Chief Business Officer at Google X, tried to engineer a path to joy in his book, Solve for Happy, by expressing happiness as an equation.

HAPPINESS ≥ Your Perception of the EVENTS of your life − Your EXPECTATIONS of how life should behave

According to Gawdat’s model, if you perceive events as equal to or greater than your expectations, then you’re happy—or at least not unhappy.

Investors wanting to increase their wealth and well-being should consider his model. You can’t control many events that affect your portfolio, but events themselves are not part of the equation. Fortunately, you have some control over the two variables driving happiness—your perception of the events and your expectations.


First, let’s review some fundamentals about expectations in the financial markets.

1. Stocks have higher expected returns than safer investments like Treasury bills.

If it is widely known that stocks are riskier, prices should reflect that information, and, for the market to clear, investors are incented to bear that risk with higher expected returns. The higher expected return for stocks is known as the equity premium and, historically, it has been about 8% annually in the US.


2. All stocks don’t have the same expected return.


The price of a good and service is set by market forces and results from many inputs, such as the costs of raw materials, labor, shipping, and advertising, as well as competition and perceived value. As a consumer, you don’t need to understand all the inputs to make an informed purchase. You look at the price relative to alternatives in the market and ask if the product is worth the price—and the lower the price or the more you get, either in quality or quantity, the better the purchase.

Similarly, a stock’s price has many inputs. Expectations about future profits, different types of risk, and investor preferences are just a few examples, but you don’t need a model to understand all those inputs or how they impact market prices. All available information should already be reflected in the price, which tells you something about expected returns. Whether you are a consumer or an investor, you want to pay less and receive more.

Therefore, expected returns are a function of the price you pay and cash flows you expect to receive. Companies that are smaller and more profitable, with lower relative prices, have higher expected returns than those that are larger and less profitable, with high relative prices. These patterns are referred to as size, profitability, and value premiums. They have historically ranged from slightly more than 3.5% to just under 5% in the US.

3. Expected premiums are positive but not guaranteed.

Although expected premiums are always positive, realized premiums may be positive in some years and negative in others. You may even experience a negative premium for several years in a row. Exhibit 1 illustrates that the probability of a positive small cap premium over one year is only slightly more than a coin flip, and it is roughly 65% for the equity premium.

The probability of earning a positive premium also increases with your time horizon, but it isn’t a sure thing since underperformance is possible over any time frame. Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson said, “In competitive markets there is a buyer for every seller. If one could be sure that a price will rise, it would have already risen.”


The other half of the equation is your perception of an event.

Consider an event, such as realizing a negative premium over 10 years, a time frame that some investors consider long term. This is not just a hypothetical exercise, because, as shown in Exhibit 2, the cumulative value premium has been negative for the past 10 years in the US, while the market and size premiums were negative in the 10-year periods ending in 2009 and 1999, respectively.

Lengthy periods of underperformance are disappointing, as investors obviously prefer higher rather than lower returns. Nonetheless, disappointment shouldn’t turn into anger or regret if you know in advance that periods like these will occur and recognize you can’t predict them.

Ancient wisdom teaches acceptance, as resistance often fuels anxiety. Instead of resisting periods of underperformance, which might cause you to abandon a well-designed investment plan, try to lean into the outcome. Embrace it by considering that if positive premiums were absolutely certain, even over periods of 10 years or longer, you shouldn’t expect those premiums to materialize going forward. Why is this? Because in a well-functioning capital market, competition would drive down expected returns to the levels of other low-risk investments, such as short-term Treasury bills. Risk and return are related.

The good news is there are sensible and empirically sound ways to increase expected returns. The bad news is there will be periods of underperformance along the way.

Your happiness as an investor depends on how your perception of events stack up against your expectations. Proper expectations alongside the appropriate perception can help you stay the course and may improve your wealth and well-being.

As David Booth, Executive Chairman and founder of Dimensional, says, “The most important thing about an investment philosophy is having one you can stick with.”

Have Questions?

Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Investing involves risk and the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee strategies will be successful.
Diversification does not eliminate the risk of market loss.
Small and micro cap securities are subject to greater volatility than those in other asset categories.
International and emerging markets investing involves special risks, such as currency fluctuation and political instability. Investing in emerging
markets may accentuate these risks.
Sector-specific investments focus on a specific segment of the market, which can increase investment risks.
Eugene Fama and Ken French are members of the Board of Directors of the general partner of, and provide consulting services to, Dimensional Fund
Advisors LP.
All expressions of opinion are subject to change. This article is distributed for informational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer,
solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products, or services. Investors should talk to their financial advisor prior
to making any investment decision.

Advisory Services offered through Larson Financial Group, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Securities offered through Larson Financial Securities, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC.
Financial markets is a complicated issue and cannot be fully covered within the context of this article. This article should not be construed as market advice. Please contact a qualified financial professional with knowledge about your specific needs.

Larson Financial Group, LLC, Larson Financial Securities, LLC and their representatives do not provide tax advice or services. Please consult the appropriate professional regarding your tax planning needs.

This article is for Informational purposes only and is an authorized reprint from Dimensional Fund Advisors LP (“DFA”). Larson Financial Group (“LFG”) and Larson Financial Securities (“LFS”) are separate from and unaffiliated with DFA. LFS has entered into a selling agreement with DFA whereby LFS may sell and receive compensation for the sale of DFA funds. Material is believed current and accurate but is not guaranteed. Investments are subject to various market, political, currency, economic, and business risks, and may not always be profitable; further, neither LFG nor LFS guarantee financial or investment results. This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities or other products and services of LFG or its affiliates. Before taking action on a financial plan, please review any offering documents available, including prospectus and consult an appropriate investment professional regarding your specific needs. Past performance is not an indicator of future results. Note: you can change “article” to article depending on the forum being used.

To Bit or Not to Bit: What should Investors Make of Bitcoin Mania?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting many investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios.

Instead, cryptocurrencies are a form of code made by computers and stored in a digital wallet. In the case of bitcoin, there is a finite supply of 21 million,1 of which more than 16 million are in circulation.2 Transactions are recorded on a public ledger called blockchain.

People can earn bitcoins in several ways, including buying them using traditional fiat currencies3 or by “mining” them—receiving newly created bitcoins for the service of using powerful computers to compile recent transactions into new blocks of the transaction chain through solving a highly complex mathematical puzzle.

For much of the past decade, cryptocurrencies were the preserve of digital enthusiasts and people who believe the age of fiat currencies is coming to an end. This niche appeal is reflected in their market value. For example, at a market value of $16,000 per bitcoin,4 the total value of bitcoin in circulation is less than one tenth of 1% of the aggregate value of global stocks and bonds. Despite this, the sharp rise in the market value of bitcoins over the past weeks and months have contributed to intense media attention.

What are investors to make of all this media attention? What place, if any, should bitcoin play in a diversified portfolio? Recently, the value of bitcoin has risen sharply, but that is the past. What about its future value?

You can approach these questions in several ways. A good place to begin is by examining the roles that stocks, bonds, and cash play in your portfolio.

Expected Returns

Companies often seek external sources of capital to finance projects they believe will generate profits in the future. When a company issues stock, it offers investors a residual claim on its future profits. When a company issues a bond, it offers investors a promised stream of future cash flows, including the repayment of principal when the bond matures. The price of a stock or bond reflects the return investors demand to exchange their cash today for an uncertain but greater amount of expected cash in the future. One important role these securities play in a portfolio is to provide positive expected returns by allowing investors to share in the future profits earned by corporations globally. By investing in stocks and bonds today, you expect to grow your wealth and enable greater consumption tomorrow.

Government bonds often provide a more certain repayment of promised cash flows than corporate bonds. Thus, besides the potential for providing positive expected returns, another reason to hold government bonds is to reduce the uncertainty of future wealth. And inflation-linked government bonds reduce the uncertainty of future inflation-adjusted wealth.

Holding cash does not provide an expected stream of future cash flow. One US dollar in your wallet today does not entitle you to more dollars in the future. The same logic applies to holding other fiat currencies — and holding bitcoins in a digital wallet. So, we should not expect a positive return from holding cash in one or more currencies unless we can predict when one currency will appreciate or depreciate relative to others.

The academic literature overwhelmingly suggests that short-term currency movements are unpredictable, implying there is no reliable and systematic way to earn a positive return just by holding cash, regardless of its currency. So why should investors hold cash in one or more currencies? One reason is because it provides a store of value that can be used to manage near-term known expenditures in those currencies.

With this framework in mind, it might be argued that holding bitcoins is like holding cash; it can be used to pay for some goods and services. However, most goods and services are not priced in bitcoins.

Lots of volatility has occurred in the exchange rates between bitcoins and traditional currencies. That volatility implies uncertainty, even in the near term, in the amount of future goods and services your bitcoins can purchase. This uncertainty, combined with possibly high transaction costs to convert bitcoins into usable currency, suggests that the cryptocurrency currently falls short as a store of value to manage near-term known expenses. Of course, that may change in the future if it becomes common practice to pay for all goods and services using bitcoins.

If bitcoin is not currently practical as a substitute for cash, should we expect its value to appreciate?

Supply and Demand

The price of a bitcoin is tied to supply and demand. Although the supply of bitcoins is slowly rising, it may reach an upper limit, which might imply limited future supply. The future supply of cryptocurrencies, however, may be very flexible as new types are developed and innovation in technology makes many cryptocurrencies close substitutes for one another, implying the quantity of future supply might be unlimited.

Regarding future demand for bitcoins, there is a non‑zero probability5 that nothing will come of it (no future demand) and a non-zero probability that it will be widely adopted (high future demand).

Future regulation adds to this uncertainty. While recent media attention has ensured bitcoin is more widely discussed today than in years past, it is still largely unused by most financial institutions. It has also been the subject of scrutiny by regulators. For example, in a note to investors in 2014, the US Securities and Exchange Commission warned that any new investment appearing to be exciting and cutting-edge has the potential to give rise to fraud and false “guarantees” of high investment returns.6 Other entities around the world have issued similar warnings. It is unclear what impact future laws and regulations may have on bitcoin’s future supply and demand (or even its existence). This uncertainty is common with young investments.

All of these factors suggest that future supply and demand are highly uncertain. But the probabilities of high or low future supply or demand are an input in the price of bitcoins today. That price is fair, in that investors willingly transact at that price. One investor does not have an unfair advantage over another in determining if the true probability of future demand will be different from what is reflected in bitcoin’s price today.

What to Expect

So, should we expect the value of bitcoins to appreciate? Maybe. But just as with traditional currencies, there is no reliable way to predict by how much and when that appreciation will occur. We know, however, that we should not expect to receive more bitcoins in the future just by holding one bitcoin today. They don’t entitle holders to an expected stream of future bitcoins, and they don’t entitle the holder to a residual claim on the future profits of global corporations.

None of this is to deny the exciting potential of the underlying blockchain technology that enables the trading of bitcoins. It is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way, which has significant implications for banking and other industries, although these effects may take some years to emerge.

When it comes to designing a portfolio, a good place to begin is with one’s goals. This approach, combined with an understanding of the characteristics of each eligible security type, provides a good framework to decide which securities deserve a place in a portfolio. For the securities that make the cut, their weight in the total market of all investable securities provides a baseline for deciding how much of a portfolio should be allocated to that security.

Unlike stocks or corporate bonds, it is not clear that bitcoins offer investors positive expected returns. Unlike government bonds, they don’t provide clarity about future wealth. And, unlike holding cash in fiat currencies, they don’t provide the means to plan for a wide range of near-term known expenditures. Because bitcoin does not help achieve these investment goals, we believe that it does not warrant a place in a portfolio designed to meet one or more of such goals.

If, however, one has a goal not contemplated herein, and you believe bitcoin is well suited to meet that goal, keep in mind the final piece of our asset allocation framework: What percentage of all eligible investments do the value of all bitcoins represent? When compared to global stocks, bonds, and traditional currency, their market value is tiny. So, if for some reason an investor decides bitcoins are a good investment, we believe their weight in a well-diversified portfolio should generally be tiny.7

Because bitcoin is being sold in some quarters as a paradigm shift in financial markets, this does not mean investors should rush to include it in their portfolios. When digesting the latest article on bitcoin, keep in mind that a goals-based approach based on stocks, bonds, and traditional currencies, as well as sensible and robust dimensions of expected returns, has been helping investors effectively pursue their goals for decades.

Have Questions?


  1. Source: Bitcoin.org.
  2. As of December 14, 2017. Source: Coinmarketcap.com.
  3. A currency declared by a government to be legal tender.
  4. Per Bloomberg, the end-of-day market value of a bitcoin exceeded $16,000 USD for the first time on December 7, 2017.
  5. Describes an outcome that is possible (or not impossible) to occur.
  6. “Investor Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments,” SEC, 7 May 2014.
  7. Investors should discuss the risks and other attributes of any security or currency with their advisor prior to making any investment.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change. The commentary above pertains to bitcoin cryptocurrency. Certain bitcoin
offerings may be considered a security and may have different attributes than those described in this paper. Dimensional does not offer bitcoin.
This material is not to be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy or sell any security or currency. Investing involves risks
including possible loss of principal. Stocks are subject to market fluctuation and other risks. Bonds are subject to increased risk of loss of principal
during periods of rising interest rates and other risks. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Diversification does not
assure a profit or protect against loss. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is a registered investment advisor with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

This article is for Informational purposes only and is an authorized reprint from Dimensional Fund Advisors LP (“DFA”). Material is believed current and accurate but is not guaranteed. Investments are subject to various market, political, currency, economic, and business risks, and may not always be profitable; further, neither Larson Financial Group nor Larson Financial Securities guarantee financial or investment results. This material is not to be construed as an offer to buy or sell securities or other products and services of Larson Financial Group or its affiliates. Before taking action on a financial plan, please review any offering documents available, including prospectus and consult an appropriate investment professional regarding your specific needs.

Copyright © 2017 by Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. All Rights Reserved

Physician Wealth Management

Financial Management in Healthcare

Provided By Matt Harlow, CFA, Chief Investment Officer at Larson Financial Group

Though investment options are virtually unlimited, we have chosen to address the four primary investments we see physicians successfully use:

  1. The market
  2. Practice ownership
  3. Real Estate
  4. Exotic/private opportunities

The Market

Most physicians use “the market” as their primary vehicle for wealth accumulation. When we say “the market,” we are referring to publicly available investments that tend to trade easily. For example, you may have heard of small caps before. This refers to investing in small companies. Large caps are large companies. The market is not limited to only investing directly in companies. Instead, money from one investor can be grouped together with money from another investor to gain access to more investment choices with less cost. This is known as a mutual fund. Many market components can be used to diversify investments. Simply put, diversification means spreading your assets to multiple investments so that risk is reduced without necessarily reducing growth potential. This works because many types of investments are not highly correlated with one another so that when one is going down in value, others may be going up in value.

When using the market, a physician should focus on asset allocation, low expenses, and tax efficiency, rather than on trying to pick the hot stock or mutual fund of the day. The following table shows many of the various segments of the market available for investment, as well as, historical returns of each of these different types of investments. (29)

Physician Mortgage Loans

Physician Practice Ownership

Many doctors and dentists receive their income through ownership in a practice. From an investment standpoint, many of our clients earn better returns by investing in their practice than they likely could with other investment choices.

For this reason, many practice owners primarily use the market as a means of diversifying and protecting the wealth they have already created in their business. They often invest more conservatively in the market than our non-business owner clients because they are not relying on the market to create wealth. Their business handles this function. Instead, the market simply serves as a means to protect the wealth that their business has already created.

Real Estate

Real estate became a hot investment during the stock market downturn in 2001 and 2002. From 2001 through 2006, many people entered the real estate investment world, only to see their property values decimated between 2007 and 2008. This is not to suggest that real estate is always a bad investment, rather, that successful investors in the real estate market are usually those that treat it as a full-time career. They invest for a living in residential, commercial, and/or developmental real estate, and they earn a good living doing so. The point is that you probably need to choose which one you want to be–a real estate tycoon or a physician–because it would be rare to see someone who is great at both.

Rental property is not often the easy lottery ticket to wealth that infomercials promote it to be. Owning one or two rental properties can quickly turn into a losing proposition. Consider the example of a client who made a profit of only $150 per month after paying for his mortgages on two properties. All it would take is one month without a tenant, or a large repair, for the entire annual profit to be eroded.

We question the logic of investors who get into real estate as a hobby or for the chance to make a quick buck. Why take on the headaches and the risk of leverage in the real estate industry? This return could often be matched with far more conservative investments that do not involve the use of debt. Instead, we advise physicians to avoid direct real estate investments outside of the scope of their normal business unless they want to take on another full-time job. Instead they should consider the market as their primary wealth driver.

The good news is that investors can still gain great exposure to real estate without taking on the risk of debt–or additional work. This can be accomplished through the market by acquiring investments called Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). REITs function like mutual funds where investors pool their resources. Commercial property, mortgages, and other real estate investments can be purchased in bulk with a share of the profitability (or losses) returned to the investor, with no additional work or debt required. REITs are considered to be the most efficient way to achieve broad diversification in the real estate industry. (35)

Many physicians believe that this is a great alternative to active involvement in real estate projects outside the scope of their medical practice. We agree philosophically. Unless the individual real estate deal comes as part of the package with your practice ownership, it is probably best to leave it alone.

Exotic/Private Opportunities

Several other distracting opportunities exist for physicians outside of the normal stock market–primarily because most medical specialists qualify as “accredited investors.” An accredited investor is one that has a net worth in excess of $1 million (excluding a primary residence) or has income in excess of $200,000 to $300,000 per year. The income component alone qualifies most physicians as accredited investors. (30)

Why does this matter? Because accredited investors have access to investment options that are prohibited from being sold to the general public because they are considered to be too risky.

Many physicians are excited by the concept that they have access to investment opportunities that others do not. The relevant question again is: Does it matter? The short answer is that your status as an accredited investor means very little, but your status as a properly credentialed physician could mean much more. To clarify, it will help to understand the various exotic opportunities out there.

Hedge Funds

Unlike mutual funds, hedge funds are able to bet against the market (called “shorting” the market), and they are also allowed to borrow against your money to seek larger returns.

Does it work? Consistent studies suggest not. There is no evidence to support that hedge funds perform any better than should be expected from random chance or luck. This is largely in part due to the high fees charged by hedge fund managers, typically ranging from 4.26% to 6.52% per year. (36)

Private Equity

Private equity deals fare no better, and the risks are much greater. Venture capital, leveraged buyouts, and mezzanine financing deals require substantial risk on the part of the investor. You give up liquidity, diversification, and transparency for the chance of a big payoff. What do you stand to gain from this? Studies show the payoff is not worth the risk. The returns gained through private equity dealings are no better than those provided by investing in small cap (company) publicly traded stocks. (36) In other words, historically speaking, you would have gained the same returns with more liquidity, diversification, and transparency.

David Swenson, famous for his outstanding track record managing Yale’s endowment fund, had these remarks for individuals considering private equity deals:

Understanding the difficulty of identifying superior hedge fund, venture capital, and leveraged buyout investments, leads to the conclusion that hurdles for casual investors stand insurmountably high. (37)

Exotic investments are not worth the risks they pose. Unfortunately, being an accredited investor is not as advantageous as it sounds. Normal exotic investments do not add as much value as hoped, but your credentials as a physician (not your income), might sometimes grant you access to excellent investment opportunities not afforded to the general public. An increasing trend for physicians is to hold ownership interests in surgery centers, ancillary services, and hospital syndications.

Ancillary Services

We find it much more logical for physicians to attempt to outperform the market when they can directly affect the outcome. Ancillary services can generate additional income for you– ultimately meaning that you do not have to rely as much on seeing more patients to maintain a similar income stream.

Many ancillary services may be available, depending on your specialty. The idea behind investing in ancillaries is that because you are referring out the business, you might as well get paid for the additional work to be done. When physicians ask what ancillary services they should consider offering, we ask them what business they are referring out the door the most. That is probably your best place to begin strategizing.

Hospital syndications are also increasing in popularity with healthcare reform underway. Ownership of a hospital gives you access to some of the profits. The requirement that you be a physician who has credentials at the hospital keeps the public from gaining access to the investment opportunity. Hospitals sometimes treat physician ownership as a means of doing profit sharing, whereby you get to participate in the profits of the place you already do the work. When a physician considers ownership of ancillary services, we ask him or her to address three issues up front:

  1. Does the opportunity have a good business model that makes sense, and does the financial data support it?
  2. What is the exit strategy for the future in the best-case and worst-case scenarios?
  3. Is the return worth the risk?

To clarify the first issue, it is helpful to examine the financial ratios of the service in question in order to get a feel for how those compare to what would generally be expected for a similar business.

The financial ratios are the diagnostic tool that helps you measure whether or not an opportunity makes good business sense. You need to know what the difference between a good ratio and bad ratio is—or hire someone who does.

The exit strategy is something you want to consider anytime you enter into a business relationship.

  • How do you plan to sell your shares of the hospital syndication?
  • Will the buyer of your medical practice logically also want to acquire the ancillary business you have established?
  • What could happen to the value of your ownership if Stark laws are increased, and you can no longer own any portion of an ancillary service?

The best business opportunities are those that offer little risk in terms of how the exit strategy will impact you personally. Finally, if the above questions have reasonable answers, the last step is to determine whether the potential reward is worth the risk. A general rule is that it is not worth the loss of liquidity on any of these services, unless you expected to earn 15% or more on the investment returns.

A surgery center that returns only 8% in profit each year would not be worth the risk, unless you had reason to believe that your group’s involvement would increase surgeries enough to increase the profit margin to the 15% minimum requirement.

In summary, exotic investments available to the general public are rarely a good opportunity, but direct access to additional revenue on work you are already generating can often be very profitable. This might be the best exotic investment it makes sense to pursue. Diversification remains paramount, so we would not want to see more than 15% to 25% of someone’s investments tied up in these types of investments. Instead, the open market offers the best long-term opportunities to be properly rewarded for the risks that you take.

Have Questions?

(29) All returns are in U.S. dollars. Data was taken from a reliable source, but we cannot directly attest to its accuracy. The portfolios referenced above are for illustrative purposes only, and are not available for direct investment purposes. Performance above does not make adjustments for expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. 80 year data not provided in the chart indicates an asset class that was not tracked during that time frame. (45) (30) $200,000 from a single individual or one earner in the family, or $300,000 if combining both spouses’ incomes. (35) Swedroe, Larry E. and Kizer, Jared. The Only Guide to Alternative Investments You’ll Ever Need. New York, NY: Bloomberg Press, 2008. (36) Swedroe, Larry E. The Quest for Alpha. Hoboken, NJ : John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2011. (37) Swensen, David. Unconventional Success. New York, NY: Free Press, 2005. (45) Dimensional Fund Advisors. Matrix Book. Austin, TX : Dimensional Fund Advisors, 2011.